The mortal remains of ‘Rajmata’ Mohinder Kaur, mother of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, were today consigned to flames as a large number of people bid a tearful adieu to the royal matriarch. Kaur had passed away yesterday evening after a prolonged illness at her residence in Patiala. She was 96. The chief minister lit the pyre at the ‘Shahi Smadhan’ – the family’s ancestral cremation ground – where a large crowd had converged to pay their respects.
Amarinder Singh was joined by brother Malwinder Singh and son Raninder Singh in lighting the pyre. Besides the immediate family, the chief minister’s brothers-in-law, former Union minister Kanwar Natwar Singh and Major Kanwaljit Singh Dhillon, were also present along with their sons.
Amarinder Singh’s grandsons Nirvan Singh, Angad Singh and Yaduinder Singh also joined in performing the last rites.
Political, religious and administrative leaders were joined by ordinary citizens from all walks of life for the cremation.
People had stated gathering at the Moti Bagh palace in the morning itself for a last glimpse (antim darshan) of their beloved ‘Rajmata’.
Among those who paid their respects were Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore, Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana KP Singh, Deputy Speaker Ajaib Singh Bhatti, cabinet ministers Brahm Mohindra, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Member of Parliament Santokh Chaudhary, former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar, besides Advisor to CM BIS Chahal.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) President Paramjit Singh Sarna and Harvinder Singh Sarna also paid respects to the departed soul, along with top civil and police officials of Punjab. Cutting across party lines, several prominent political leaders, including Patiala MP Dharamvir Gandhi, President, Apna Punjab Party, Sucha Singh Chotepur, President Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann, Shiromani Akali Dal MLAs Parminder Singh Dhindsa, N K Sharma and Trinamool Congress Punjab unit leader Jagmeet Singh Brar expressed condolences and paid floral tributes to the departed soul.
Several religious and spiritual personalities from various sects and faiths also offered prayers at the Shahi Smadhan.
Earlier, Rajmata’s funeral procession, which started from Moti Bagh palace at 1:20 pm, went through the streets of Patiala, where huge crowds had gathered to pay their respects to Rajmata, amidst cries of `Rajmata Amar Rahe, Rajmata Amar Rahe’.
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The chief minister, along with his brother Malwinder Singh, son Raninder Singh and his grandsons Nirvan Singh, Angad Singh and Yaduinder Singh, accompanied the mortal remains of Rajmata in a flower decked funeral van.
At the Shahi Smadhan, an emotional Captain Amarinder, joined by his brother and other family members and relatives, shouldered the bier to the cremation site.
Rajmata is survived by two sons (Amarinder and Malwinder) and two daughters (Heminder Kaur, wife of Natwar Singh, and Rupinder Kaur, wife of Major Dhillon).